Save Time and Tackle Your To-Do List
If you run your own business or are self-employed, you may find it hard to get anything else done. It can be particularly difficult for business owners to delegate responsibility to others because they often worry about losing control and their companies suffering for it in the short term and long run.
However, not getting help with business and personal tasks can be detrimental because it leads to burnout, stagnation and even health problems. If you have a home, kids, pets, a spouse, or aging parents to care for, this can be even more problematic. According to Due, delegating responsibilities frees up time for more important things, reduces stress, spreads work evenly, instills a sense of trust with employees and others, and improves profits. With evolving technologies, you can automate much of your daily drudgery and become more energized and focused when handling the big stuff.
Personal Things First
You can start by streamlining your personal life with grocery pickup and delivery services like Instacart. They partner with Target, ALDI, Wegmans, Shoprite, Petco, CVS, and other providers. You choose what you need on the Instacart website, see real-time updates from personal shoppers, and choose a same-day delivery time. Shipt also offers same-day delivery from a wide variety of local retailers. Another choice is to shop online at your favorite grocery store and have curbside delivery, but that takes up extra time if you have to pick it up.
Those who like buying specialized foods subscribe to sites like Thrive Market, which features organic and sustainable products. Like other subscription services, you'll pay a monthly membership fee and get discounts on products.
Meal delivery services like Blue Apron deliver insulated boxes of ingredients and provide step-by-step preparation instructions so you'll be able to turn the fresh food into tasty entrees quickly.
Outsource Other Personal Tasks
If you don't have a house cleaning service, now might also be the time to consider this. Large companies like Merry Maids provide residential and commercial cleanings services, but they tend to charge more than local ones. You can also research local family-owned businesses that do this or use one person. No matter which service you choose, have them come over for an interview and be there the first few times they clean.
Since we're on the topic, you can outsource everything else that is eating up your time. Instead of mowing your lawn, you could hire a service that does it in less than half an hour. Prices vary, so get a few estimates first and check the references. There are also dry cleaning services that will come to your house to pick up and drop off your clothing. It can be worth the money; imagine how much time you'll save! Suppose you regularly buy certain things like laundry detergent, almonds, printer paper, or shampoo. In that case, you can set up recurring or auto-ship orders on Amazon, saving you a lot of money.
Anyone spending a considerable amount of time driving to and attending appointments, taking kids to school and running errands can benefit from sharing their calendars with family, caregivers, friends, and colleagues. Be careful, though, because you won't want to share certain information with the wrong people. Google Calendar lets users create new calendars and share them with others. Open up the calendar, locate "My calendars," choose the one to share and under "Share with specific people," make your choices. Add in individual and Google group email addresses, and go from there.
Calendly is great for scheduling business meetings. It lets co-workers book meetings automatically and lets you block out any times when you are unavailable. This tool also sends out reminders and makes rescheduling easier. Other good calendar apps include iCloud Calendar, Outlook Calendar, and Cozi Family Organizer.
Should I Get a Virtual Assistant?
Although artificial intelligence (AI) is evolving and may eventually eliminate the need for virtual assistants, these assistants can still be invaluable for busy professionals and entrepreneurs. Time Doctor explains that a virtual assistant provides administrative services and other work from remote locations. These tasks can include managing emails and appointments, completing simple digital marketing tasks, preparing reports, managing events, posting on social media, and handling personal tasks like making dinner reservations.
Virtual assistants can save money if you compare it to hiring a full-time employee, and if you connect with a great one, they can take on more responsibilities. Many entrepreneurs use virtual assistants to perform accounting work, handle customer service, and conduct company research. The pay rates vary; for example, Upwork writes that their assistants cost from $10 to $20 an hour. The greatest aspect is that you can choose the number of hours you need, which ensures that you're not paying anyone to sit around and waste time.
You can use tools like Meet Edgar to manage your social media. This female-owned company has two plans, and the upgraded version can handle up to 25 social accounts. Social media automation tools like these tailor posts for different platforms like Facebook and Instagram and offer other features. Some have AI that can respond to basic customer service questions like "what is your return policy." Others may manage social ads, walk customers through buying processes, and provide valuable market research.
How Can Learn to Delegate Responsibility?
Entrepreneurs may avoid delegating work to others because of pride, feeling guilty about giving others more work to complete, a lack of trust or confidence in co-workers, and feeling that it would take too long to explain what to do! But if you genuinely want to provide employees with learning opportunities, reduce your stress, and tackle that to-do list, it's worth investing time and effort at the outset; you'll reap the rewards shortly afterward.
Harvard Business Review shares some tips to help entrepreneurs and managers delegate work to others. The first (and more crucial) aspect is that you cannot delegate all tasks. You can't ask an assistant to handle a performance review or close a significant company deal. Daily tasks that don't require your oversight can be delegated, though. Look for appropriate ones for an employee's goals and strengths. For example, if a customer service rep shows strong skills, they may be able to start dealing directly with some of your best clients on minor matters.
Once you have found the proper person for the job, you should clearly define the outcome. They should know their primary responsibilities and the metrics you'll use to measure job performance. Offer them the resources they need for the additional duties, a level of authority that others will recognize and do your best not to micromanage. It's not a bad idea to give them a test run and review them after a set amount of time.
This delegation can undoubtedly be a learning process for all parties involved, so there should be a clear communication channel. Everyone in the pipeline should be encouraged to ask questions and provide feedback. Know in advance that mistakes can be made, which can be tricky if you're a perfectionist! Not allowing for failures will not empower the employee, so it is vital to be patient and give them credit when they do a great job.